Rochester launches war on 15,000 crows on Monday - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester launches war on 15,000 crows on Monday


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Don't worry if you hear fireworks or see spotlights, lasers or pyrotechnics in downtown Rochester next week, you're not missing an amazing rock concert, it's all for the crows.

The city has partnered with the USDA on a project to try to disperse some of the 15 to 20-thousand crows making downtown their home.

Starting Monday, a crew of eight wildlife biologists with the USDA Wildlife Services will start the process of bird hazing and harassment meant to help get the crows out of downtown.

The initial project will run through the week and include methods like pyrotechnics, lasers, spotlights and amplified recordings of crow distress calls.

They will start around 4 o'clock in the afternoon and run until about 7:30 in the morning.

Rochester residents can expect to see flashing lights and hear loud noises throughout the process, but Rochester Development Administrator Doug Knott says the noises shouldn't be so loud as to keep you up at night.

"They really need to be out at night doing this activity if it is going to be effective," said Knott. "So they'll be starting late afternoon and literally working through the night."

Knott says the project is unlikely to remove all the crows but will hopefully bring them down to a reasonable number.

If the crows start to return, Knott says the contract the city has with the USDA will allow the biologists to come back and start the techniques again.

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